The Ice Moon

This month’s 2011 Full Moon occurs on February 18. The names given to this moon are generally from the winter.

Snow, Storm, and Ice Moon are all used in different traditions, especially in the typically cold, snowy weather of February in North America.

The month of February is a month of ice in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It is a time of dormancy when activity and life (both by humans and in nature) appears to be low or below the surface. Even water (the zodiac sign is Aquarius) slows, freezes and seems to disappear.

To Colonial Americans, this was the Trapper’s or simply the Winter Moon.

In China, this a Holiday Moon connected with the New Year. The country of Tibet celebrates the conception of Buddha and the Feast of Flowers during this time of year.

One explanation of the name of the month of February comes from the Roman goddess Februa, who was also known as Juno Februa. Others say that the name came from the god Februus, who was later identified with the Roman Pluto or Dis.

Not all parts of the Earth are covered with ice or snow now. Celebration during this time include Hatun-pucuy, or the Great Ripening, which was celebrated among the Incas. The Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece was also called the Festival of the Returning Daughter and celebrated Kore’s return from the Underworld and the rebirth of earthly vegetation.

For Druids, this is Carmoil, the fifth month of their year, and this full moon is the Waking Moon. The first day of Carmoil is the Full Moon and is connected to when the Celts celebrated Imbolc. This month’s patron deity is Goibhnu. Carmoil is from Imbolc until to March 1 (Moon of Ice).

In both the Celtic and Roman cultures, it was a time of spiritual purification and initiation. It was seen as a time to cleanse and purify yourself and your dwelling place. It was believed that purifying changes the vibrations by removing negative ones and inviting in positive ones and so prepares the environment, the body, mind and spirit for receptivity of new spiritual and life experiences.

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